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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70197
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I paid a deposit for a conservatory in January of this year.

Customer Question

I paid a deposit for a conservatory in January of this year. The company have not responded to my last 2 phone calls to find out when it will be installed. I had to get planning permission and they did this for me, but they did not inform me when this was agreed. I had to look for it on the council website it was agreed on the 13 of July. I think they should have informed me then and given me an idea when they would be able to install my conservatory. But I have heard nothing. I phoned today and said I wanted a call back today. But nothing came. CAN I JUST GET MY DEPOSIT BACK NOW AS I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THEM.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Did you agree that time was of the essence?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I spoke to a manager in April as I was concerned about the lack of communication and he said he would over see everything and get things moving, he also agreed that the planning permission should have been submitted by that stage but it wasn't. He said if it was put in asap then I should be looking at instillation for August. Originally when I paid deposit I was told I should have instillation in June. My worry is they do not communicate and I am losing all confidence in them. I was very firm today saying I wanted to speak to someone who knew what was going on.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello any thing?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Thanks.

What I need to know is whether you agree that time was of the essence?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well I have consistently informed them I wanted it done in summer as I was initially told it should be completed in June. They did not put the planning permission in until I complained in April at which point the manager said it should still be able to be completed in August. He also acknowledged that the planning permission should have been submitted earlier. I am just very concerned that they do not communicate with me. I have nothing in writing with an agreed time scale only verbal communication.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I phone the office and they say someone will get back to me, but nothing and this is a recurrent problem.
For your info I type into 2 different boxes but not sure your getting both?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

OK. Does the contract use the words 'time is of the essence'?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Ok. Do you know if they have built anything yet or made any products to your specification?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No because they have not communicated anything. I would have thought if they had started then they would have phoned me back today to say so!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Well, not necessarily. In fact, probably not. There is no duty to keep people informed at every stage of the way and, in fact, most people would not want to be bothered with information that doesn't help them.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Come what may, time is not of the essence in this contract and anyway actually there has not been an enormous delay here given that planning permission was only granted in the middle of July.

You would struggle to cancel on the basis of delay for that reason.

If you cannot lawfully cancel then you would be liable for the sum of their loss. That would be lost profits and the cost of any item actually made.

I would imagine they would not have started until planning permission was granted as there would be risks in that.

That would mean that only a small amount of work could have been done but you would be liable for it.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I did expect them to let me know that planning permission had been granted. I also would expect some notice from them of when they think work would be able to start. I that not reasonable. is it not also reasonable that they get back in touch with me when I call.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

You may but I'm afraid that is not a ground to cancel.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

If you do try to cancel you would be liable for their losses. There is no realistic prospect of recovering the deposit and you are probably liable for more.

Unless no work has been done upon it.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How can they prove to me that work has started on any of it
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

By producing the barest evidence that they have.

They would get lost profits either way.

They only have to satisfy a judge that it is more likely than not and since permission was granted in July the chances that a court would accept they have done nothing are minimal.

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I just thought that because in my mind they are not keeping up with their part of the contract, which for me is letting me know what is happening then I should be able to do something? I have paid £2.500 deposit in January and not received a service?
Does that not stand for anything?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It feels like I cannot do any thing, yet they are not keeping to their part of contract by providing a service
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Well, you can always complain.

But the fact that they haven't done the week in three weeks to a month at most does not mean they are not completely their end of the bargain. It just means they haven't done it yet.

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